Good morning. Welcome to today's Vikings Live Chat with Matt Vensel. We're starting a bit early today because of the team's practice schedule. You can start leaving questions and comments for Matt now. Thanks for joining us.
Good morning, Vikings fans. The team just kicked us out of practice so I'm ready to chat. Mike Zimmer is back coaching today, albeit with a big white eyepatch over his right eye.
Do I think he will come back this season? If cleared by doctors in time, yes.
Not sure what was up with Jeff. We unfortunately have not had access to players and coaches since late Thursday night. That is something we will have to ask Jeff and Mike Priefer this week. But yeah, bad time for him to revert to his old form.
I wrote about this after the Cardinals game in my morning-after blog. He hasn't shown the consistency to be considered a top-5 cornerback, in my opinion. He certainly has had games where he flashes that kind of talent. But to be considered in the same realm as Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson, he has to do it week in and week out, and that includes penalties.
At this point, it does not look like 9-7 is going to be good enough.
Because he would be a game-day inactive anyway. They have three guys they like in Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen, plus Brian Robison plays a number of snaps inside, too.
Offensive line clearly needs to be the top priority again. Beyond that, they need to figure out what they are doing with Adrian Peterson and quarterback becomes a long-term question mark again. There is no guarantee that Teddy Bridgewater comes back from this injury by Week 1, if ever, so they will have to keep Sam Bradford around for 2017. But do they need to think about using one of their earlier picks on another young quarterback just in case Teddy can't come back from that injury?
I would really just be guessing and I would rather not do that. But I'll say this: I will be STUNNED if the Vikings are fine with keeping him around at his $18 million cap number in 2017. Something has to give there.
Thanks, Bill. No one is going to play a little violin for us beat writers, but this season has been draining for me. It isn't so much the losing. But there has been so much drama, from Teddy getting hurt to Norv walking away to Blair getting cut and now Zimmer's eye surgery. I'm going to apply for hazard pay.
If they get in, sure. They, too, probably need to win out to get in. And if they do, meaning they will have won six straight, I'm not sure a No. 3 or No. 4 seed is going to be thrilled about playing them.
We debated this on the podcast at the time and it looks so, so, so silly now. We were all assuming they would go 12-4, maybe 13-3. And here they are at 6-6. Just a reminder that we should not quit our day jobs so we can move to Vegas and bet on NFL games for a living.
Not much certainty there, no. The only locks I see at this point are Alex Boone and Joe Berger. Nick Easton and T.J. Clemmings will have to win back jobs probably. Brandon Fusco could be a cap casualty. Jake Long's career is probably done. I think Jeremiah Sirles will be back but will have to play his way onto the team again. And don't rule out Matt Kalil or Andre Smith coming back on a short-term, prove-it deal. They can't go into free agency and the draft needing to find three new starters.
This was all reported at the time if you want to search on our site. I'm not going to waste everyone else's time by doing that for you, but Randy Bullock was one of them.
Nah. It's hard to get too worked up about not making a four-team playoff when you lost two games, one to Pitt and another in a blowout to Michigan. I didn't see this run to the Big Ten title coming, so I chose just to enjoy that instead of dwelling on them not getting a chance to get blown out by Alabama.
I'm not going to set any odds because it would just be a random number I threw out there, but I'd like to think they will beat the Bears and Jaguars. But at best I see them splitting the games with the Packers and Colts. If they go 3-1, that gets them to 9-7, but that's probably not going to be good enough anymore.
An argument can be made that they did not do enough to address it. Yeah, they changed line coaches and gave a decent contract to Alex Boone to be a stopgap. But that was it, other than taking a flier on an inconsistent and injury-prone right tackle. I have written about this a few times now, but their problems now are the byproduct of the team's philosophy when it comes to drafting and developing offensive linemen. They have picked only two linemen in the first three rounds since 2007 and have not had much success in recent years of developing late-rounders. And it has cost them the past three years. They need to get some quality line prospects in here this spring and start grooming them.
Last I checked, Stefon Diggs was in the top five in catches despite missing a couple of games. I think he's doing just fine.
He's still not practicing. Zimmer has not wanted to talk about him much, but he did say a couple of weeks ago that they thought he would be back by now. With four weeks left and Sharrif still not practicing, it seems unlikely we still him again in 2016. And it's fair to wonder if he will be on the team in 2017.
Nope. And Terry Bradshaw is retired.
It's still too early to say. Bradford has played well, better than I expected. But had Teddy Bridgewater not gotten hurt, I believe he would have been even better this season. That being said, there is no guarantee Bridgewater will be able to come back from this injury. It's going to be a long road back for him, so it's impossible to say now.
I think you're overthinking this. Peterson, last year, was the NFL's leading rusher. If they are still in the playoff hunt, why wouldn't they want to get a player of his caliber on the field?
I'm fine with it. Just be discreet. Better than throwing something away.